Qi energy is the central underlying doctrine in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The ancient Chinese believed that qi was universal and flowed through, connected and linked everything in the cosmos.
On an individual level, qi (pronounced “chee”) is essentially the vital energy which circulates via the meridians (or energy channels) throughout our bodies and supports the functions of our organs. It sustains our life force.
Congenital Qi Energy
This is the innate qi that we are born with. It makes up our basic constitution and is essential for growth and development. It is not replenishable, but can be conserved.
Acquired Qi Energy
This is the qi that we build after birth. It can be stored, developed and replenished over a life time. The quality of acquired qi depends on our lifestyle choices, such as the freshness and nutrition of the food we eat, the cleanliness of the air that we breathe, the amount of physical exercise or type of work that we do, the balance of our emotions and the amount of stress.
When any of these factors are out of balance, qi levels will be affected. If food quality or digestion is poor, then less qi is generated. If we overwork or exercise without adequate rest, then the qi stores become depleted. If we function under constant stress or mental strain for long periods of time, this also depletes qi and causes stagnation in our bodies, creating additional pathologies for the organs, muscles and body systems.
The classic symptom of depleted qi is tiredness or fatigue due to the lack of qi energy supplying the body. Other symptoms can also emerge from the diminished qi supply to the organs such as poor digestion, lowered immune system and shortness of breath, to name a few.
The ancient Chinese believed that Illness, suffering and “dis-ease” would result if the movement of qi through the energy pathways of the body was blocked, unbalanced or disrupted.
Chinese natural medicine may reinforce qi by tonifying with herbal medicine, and by stimulating the organs with acupuncture to ensure the body produces and distributes qi effectively. Acupuncture is capable of regulating the supply and flow of qi in the body. It may reduce the damaging effects of stress on the organs which may regulate sleep so the body has quality rest for qi restoration. Acupuncture is often used with moxibustion.